Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements

  1. What is ISO 45001:2018?
  2. Which organisations should have ISO 45001:2018 certification?
  3. How many organisations worldwide are ISO 45001 certified?
  4. What are the ISO 45001:2018 requirements?
  5. What are the benefits of ISO 14501:2018 certification?
  6. How does my organisation achieve ISO 45001:2018 certification?

1. What is ISO 45001:2018?

ISO 45001:2018 is the globally renowned International Standard which details requirements for Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems. The standard was prepared by Project Committee ISO/PC 283, Occupational health and safety management systems. and has superseded BS OHSAS 18001:2007, which was withdrawn following a period of transition. The standard provides a framework to enable businesses to implement effective arrangements for managing occupational health and safety in a way that is proportionate to the hazards identified and the OH&S risks to be managed.

2. Which organisations should have ISO 45001:2018 certification?

The standard is intended for use by an organization seeking to improve occupational health and safety, eliminate hazards and minimize OH&S risks (including system deficiencies), taking advantage of OH&S opportunities, and addressing OH&S management system nonconformities associated with its activities. ISO45001:2018 is a generic Occupational H&S Management System standard which aligns with the Annex SL format upon which many other management system standards are based.

The standard is applicable to any organisation regardless of its size, type and activities, and applies to the OH&S risks under the organization’s control, taking into account factors such as the context in which the organization operates and the needs and expectations of its workers and other interested parties.

3. How many organisations worldwide are ISO 45001 certified?

Every year the ISO organisation conducts a survey of management system standard certification, which details the valid certificates each year by management system standard and across each country. The ISO Survey counts the number of certificates issued by certification bodies that have been accredited by members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

The 2021 results indicated that circa 358,000 ISO45001 certificates are registered across the globe with China, Italy, United Kingdom, India, and Spain being the top 5 countries for volume, with China being responsible for nearly two thirds of the certificates issued. The top 5 sectors defined included Wholesale & Retail trade, Construction, Electrical & Optical Equipment, Basic Metals & Fabrication & Other Services.

4. What are the ISO 45001:2018 requirements?

The standard specifies requirements that enable an organisation to use a common approach and risk-based thinking to achieve the intended outcomes it sets for its environmental management system. The fundamental concept of the PDCA cycle is core to the systems approach as an iterative process to achieve continual improvement.

The standard specifies requirements and gives guidance for its use, to enable organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces by preventing work-related injury and ill health, as well as by proactively improving its OH&S performance. It is not prescriptive about the design of an OH&S management system, or the specific criteria for OH&S performance.

Detailed requirements are defined within clauses, and each are indispensable for its application, dependent on the organisation’s purpose and scope. The requirements are detailed within the following sections:

Section 4. Context of the organisation
Section 5. Leadership
Section 6. Planning
Section 7. Support
Section 8. Operation
Section 9. Performance evaluation
Section 10. Improvement

5. What are the benefits of ISO 45001:2018 certification?

According to the HSA in Ireland there have been 226 Workplace fatalities and 43,909 non-fatal injuries up to 2021 and the annual figures for GB in the period 2021/22 include that 123 workers were killed at work and 1.7 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness (Source: HSE). An OH&S management system helps organisations limit these risks.

Implementing ISO45001 should result in an OH&S management system which enables organisations to fulfil its legal requirements and to identify and evaluate their H&S risks, and, with the participation of the workforce, lead to enhanced performance. Improved workplace conditions, reduced risk of injury or illness and a positive H&S culture can lead to improved worker wellbeing as well as an increase in productivity and reduced insurance premiums.

The standard can also assist an organisation to and other requirements. Demonstration of successful implementation of the standard can be used by an organisation to give assurance to workers and other interested parties that an effective OH&S management system is in place.

A case study published by IOSH (The institute of Occupational Safety & Health) in 2018 focused on a manufacturing and construction organisation, AB Glass based in Swansea, Wales, who were an early adopter of the ISO45001 and their representative stated benefits to include top management commitment at all stages, worker involvement, emphasis on the continual improvement element of the Plan-Do-Check-Act model including review and preventive action, and alignment with their existing 9001 system.

6. How does my organisation achieve ISO 45001:2018 certification?

Once an organisation has formed an agreement for certification services, as well as having established and implemented its management system, the initial certification activity is conducted in two stages, which provides the opportunity for the auditor and organisation seeking certification to review the system and plan for the main audit activity at stage two. The main audit activity will gather objective evidence against the requirements of the standard using techniques such as observation, document review and personnel interview, to evaluate conformance with those requirements. If there are any issues identified that don’t meet requirements, these are subject to corrective action and once closed out, the audit file goes for technical review and a decision made to grant certification.

The size, complexity and needs of the organisation can influence both the duration and timeline to achieve certification, and this is also influenced by the maturity and resources within the organisation seeking certification.

The actual process of certification is guided by the accreditation standard for Management Systems, ISO 17021-1 and it is highlighted in the illustration below.

Get in touch today if you would like to find out more about the services that we provide, or if you are ready to begin your journey in getting ISO 45001:2018 certified, you can use the online request to receive a tailored proposal for your certification needs.

To find out more about the standard, you can get it here.

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